Read on to figure out how your relationship stacks up.
Of course, not every relationship can be summed up in these profiles, but over the course of study and experience these are the typical archetypes that many relationships fall into. Read on to discover examples of relationship dynamics that spell trouble, And the ones that lead to satisfying, loving relationships that can last a life time.
Let’s get started! Click on the titles below to discover each archetype:
On the rare occasion that you do discuss your problems, the conversation usually ends with each partner retreating and feeling more disconnected than ever. You both know that something is wrong but neither one can see the forest for the trees.
As the woman in The Roommates Relationship, you don’t speak up when your partner does something that pisses you off or hurts your feelings because you fear being seen as needy or bitchy. Depending on how long you and your man have been living like roommates, you may not even know what you need from him to make the relationship better because you’ve become so accustomed to ignoring your desires and settling for the status quo. You rationalize that it could be so much worse… At least he has a job. At least he doesn’t just sit around watching sports and drinking beer. At least he comes home every night and helps out around the house.
Your partner in this relationship is usually completely checked out. He’s doing his thing and following his routine, but he’s not really present. He doesn’t make you feel loved and adored, and you get the feeling that he’s still around more out a sense of familiarity, and that it’s working well enough, but you wonder if given the opportunity he’d leave or cheat.
If you have symptoms of the Just Roommates Relationship, watch out! Because it could turn into the The Picture Perfect Relationship…
You and your partner have learned how to make things work just well enough – either for the kids or because you enjoy the lifestyle you have together – but neither of you are truly happy or fulfilled. You don’t touch or look at each other anymore; you each just stick to your routines and pray that the disconnection magically repairs itself.
As the woman in The Picture Perfect Relationship, you’ve been complaining about your relationship for so long that your friends are sick of hearing about it. Although you’re inherently unhappy, you rationalize that no one is truly happy, and if you left you’d just find a new set of equally unbearable problems with someone else, at least he always remembers your birthday. In your mind, your relationship is hopelessly unfixable, so you numb your pain with wine, extravagant purchases (that you can’t always afford or justify) or food, you focus on your kids/pets/friends, put on a mostly happy face, and pray that no one else notices the cracks.
Your partner deals with the disconnection by burying himself in work. He plays the part of a good partner: he buys you flowers just because, remembers all the important dates, says good morning and goodnight with a peck on the cheek, and tries to fix the distance between you by pretending it doesn’t exist. He misses the emotional and physical connection as much as you do, but numbs the emptiness by watching porn instead of trying to repair things with you.
As the woman in this relationship, you’re emotionally aware and upbeat, but delusional if you think fixing this man is going to result in the deep connection you crave. Your codependent tendencies drives your attempts to fix his issues and heal all his hurts, but he ends up seeing you as an overbearing mother figure– not sexy. You initiate conversations about couples therapy, forward him articles on how to improve his communication skills, style, health, and relationship.
You suggest insightful self help books he should read… The list could go on and on. You’re leading him, or more like dragging him along in the relationship, you want desperately to be right about his potential and reassure your self that he’s perfect underneath. He might be The One or he could just be better than anybody else you’ve dated. The truth is, you’re working harder in this relationship than he is, and you’re using his needs as an excuse to ignore your own.
The man in this type of relationship is often emotionally unavailable, checked out and struggles with intimacy because he doesn’t have a strong intimate relationship with himself. Although he fell in love quickly and promised you the world, now that the novelty of the relationship has worn off he is unwilling to deal with issues, becomes exhausted if the conversation gets too heated, or refuses to engage at all and completely shuts you out. He requires an unusual amount of personal space and time, and although he loves having you nearby, he barely interacts with you when you’re there, choosing instead to watch TV, play on his computer or both. Dates usually involve going out to eat or to the movies.
As the woman in this relationship, you’re a creature of habit, laser-focused on your goals and a true go-getter. You become easily obsessed with the way things are “supposed to be” because you believe there is a right and wrong way to do things. If your man doesn’t do things the “right way”, you become angry or resentful because clearly, he should have known better. You are no stranger to telling him when and how to do what needs to be done. This could be anything from making plans with friends, booking a vet appointment or grocery shopping. He’s always checking in to make sure he knows how you want things done and wouldn’t dare make a decision without consulting you. You can’t understand why he’s so indecisiveness and utterly lacks initiative. You just want him to surprise you, plan a night out, just you and him! And would it kill him to plan a few meals and make a shopping list without consulting you?!
Your partner in this relationship is sweet, mild mannered and desperately wants to make you happy. He keeps his head down and obeys your orders, checks in with you before making plans (which makes you want to strangle him) and keeps the house just so – all while waiting for you to pay attention to him. He respects and adores you but wants to feel needed – like he’s your Man with a capital M.
In this type of relationship The Prowler seems to have it all and it’s easy to become seduced by his charm. He’s savvy, saying things that you’ve always wanted to hear, for a short tome he only has eyes for you. But don’t be fooled my dear, he will never quite satisfy that longing you feel inside for a deep connection. He will always leave you wanting more from him. If you want to be with this prowler of a man you will have to be satisfied with crumbs!
When you’re in the Imitation Relationship you will find your self breaking plans with friends at the last minute because he wants to have you over, you tell your self that it’s best to seize the opportunity because you have no idea when you will see him next, he never makes plans in advance. This is a huge red flag by the way.
You might find yourself driving out of your way to get his favorite carry out to bring over on game day. Or make him dinner, skipping your evening yoga class to hang with him. You really try to go the extra mile for him because he is always so busy he however rarely reciprocates. In your heart you believe that you can change his ways but he shows no sign of even wanting to change.
Some tell tale signs you’re dating a Prowler:
- He will give you a disclaimer conversation once you’ve had sex or even before, saying that he isn’t ready for a serious relationship; he just broke up with his ex, he’s up for a promotion, he’s house hunting, he isn’t good at serious relationships, he doesn’t have time or is focusing on a new fitness plan.
- He likes to be “spontaneous” and rarely invites you out for a date in advance but gets in touch last minute, mostly via text or IM and often after 10. He prefers to have you come over to watch movies at his place, for obvious reasons…
- The Prowler is a skilled player and knows exactly when to give you a few more crumbs to subsist on, just as you become fed up with him, he turns on his irresistible charm, whisking you off to a fabulous dinner and drinks on the town, telling you how special and perfect you in fact are. For a night he is the perfect boyfriend and you almost believe his words.
Here is the thing he’s actually not a bad guy. He has been honest. He never said he wanted what you want! He actually gave you his disclaimer. You are the one who is accepting crumbs. If you want to be in a monogamous, happy, long term relationship the Prowler needs to go! Make space in your life for a man of substance, who shares similar values and dreams for his life as you do. In order for that to happen you must take responsibility for your happiness by saying good bye to the Prowler.
Your jealousy is constantly flaring up at real or imagined threats, and you cyber stalk him, check his phone and email whenever you can and are comparing yourself to the other women in his life. You mute what you’re watching to listen in on his calls from the other room, constantly collecting evidence of how wrong he is. When he does the slightest thing wrong, you withdraw your love in an effort to get him to realize he’s a jerk and pursue your forgiveness. You blame him for everything thing that’s wrong between the two of you and see it as his job to make you feel desirable, confident and better in every way. And when he doesn’t you’ll resort to tactics like hanging up on him or making him go sleep on the couch or even kicking him out all together. You are both highly reactionary and your fights can be loud, full of yelling and slamming doors much to your neighbors dismay.
In response to your jealous girlfriend act, your man has stopped including you in his plans, and sometimes lies about where he’s going so you won’t flip out. He’s hesitant to introduce you to family and coworkers, and you rarely go away just the two of you. He fits you in around his other activities, but his schedule comes first, and he would never miss a workout, networking event or party for you. He never shares his vulnerable side and refuses to talk about his thoughts, feelings or biggest dreams. But who can blame him? He still cares about you, but your jealousy has pushed him so far away that he no longer feels that he can be himself in your presence.
As the woman in this relationship, you never second-guess your decisions, and you aren’t always worried about what your man is doing. You trust and support your partner, and encourage him to explore friendships and hobbies with and without you. When it comes to communication, you don’t drop hints, choosing instead to directly and lovingly express your needs and wants.
Your partner – the coveted Mr. Boyfriend Material – is a true catch. He’s comfortable with commitment, unafraid of being vulnerable, and directly expresses his own needs without hesitation. He tells you honestly when he needs a guys’ night, or that he has to work late, and he trusts that you’ll respect his needs without interpreting them as a rejection. He makes you feel loved and adored at all times, and together the two of you make a perfect, happy and independent pair. Congrats!
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